Kent Violence Reduction Programme

The Nurturing Kent and Medway Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) Programme, which began in September 2020, aimed to support schools in reducing instances of exclusion and youth violence in local communities.

The Nurturing Kent and Medway VRU Programme was designed to support schools in improving the self-esteem of young people as well as building stronger relationships with parents. This was achieved through a programme of training, bespoke consultancy and networking to develop a more nurturing, attachment-focused and trauma-informed approach across the school.

Schools had access to a series of nurturing solutions, including the whole-school National Nurturing Schools Programme, resources, bespoke consultancy support and the Parental and Family Engagement Programme, consisting of online training and downloadable resources, designed to enable teachers and staff to facilitate relationship building between school and home, and to develop knowledge around attachment and nurturing for parents.

"It fills a gap. Gives us the ability to push. Given us structure. It’s prevented two boys from permanent exclusion. It came at a perfect time." (Kent VRU School, 2022)

Pupils walking in school

Over the course of the programme we worked with 11 schools, 9 of which completed the programme. We were able to provide training to 101 members of staff in these schools. We received 10 Boxall Profile® Online school subscriptions and we ran 10 network sessions for Kent schools, including 5 with external expert guest speakers. We had 76 attendees from schools across all networking sessions.

A study that evaluated the Nurturing Kent and Medway VRU Programme was published in the paper “The nurtureuk Violence Reduction Unit programme: Exploring a model for reducing school exclusions and instances of youth violence through nurture practice” (International Journal of Nurture in Education, Volume 8).

You can find more information about the Nurturing Kent and Medway VRU Programme in our evaluation and impact report below: